An elite local athlete is about represent Canada on the world stage, and it's a dream come true both for him and his father.

Gordie Michie loves to show off his nearly 200 career medals.

"I like this one from Para-Pan Am Games in 2015. It's close to pure gold and nearly the size of my hand," says Michie, "it also has the little dots for those who are blind. It's a great message to those swimmers."

The 25-year-old swimmer from St. Thomas is one of 100 intellectually disabled athletes from across the country who are headed to the World Special Olympic Games.

The competition is taking place in the United Arab Emirates and Dubai.

"Besides the competition part, just being there is cool. I want to see the culture down there, try the foods and tour a bit," adds Michie.

He currently holds six Canadian records in the pool, and will compete in the 50 metre butterfly and the 50 metre freestyle events.

With less than two months to go, he's ramping up his training schedule, "I'm training about 35 hours a week so it's a big commitment. However, you have to be in the best shape of your life to represent Team Canada."

His father Gord Michie Sr. got excited Monday when his son was featured on the front page of the monthly Special Olympics Canada newsletter.

He quickly shared a photo on social media, "To me it was a dream come true. He's always wanted go to finals for Canada and now he has that chance," he says.

"It's special for me, my family and my friends. Everything he does, he does for St. Thomas."

And with two events in Dubai in March, the swimmer is hoping to add a 183rd medal to this collection.